APC White Paper: Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) Explanation and Standards



Mean time between failure is a reliability term used loosely throughout many industries and has become widely abused in some. Over the years the original meaning of this term has been altered which has led to confusion and cynicism. MTBF is largely based on assumptions and definition of failure and attention to these details are paramount to proper interpretation.  This paper explains the underlying complexities and misconceptions of MTBF and the methods available for estimating it.